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Which of these factors will reduce my Commercial insurance premiums?

Do you know the in’s and out’s of commercial insurance? Test your premium knowledge by taking the quiz below!

Which of these will reduce my Commercial insurance premiums?

Need some more help after taking that quiz? Read more about the four types of insurance you should have for your business here!

Bundling Insurance: Pros and Cons

If you’ve ever seen a Geico or Progressive commercial, you have probably heard the term “bundling insurance” thrown around, but is it actually worth it as a commercial provider? 

Bundling insurance is when you choose to get multiple faucets of insurance through the same company. While it can sometimes save you money, there are potential downfalls as well. 

Pros of Bundling Insurance

For commercial insurance, the pros of bundling your insurance might include: 

Higher Savings 

There are multi-policy discounts that might be applied to your bundled insurance. Depending on the provider and your personal preference, the discount can range anywhere from 5 to 25%.

Less Clutter 

Mehmet Murat Ildan said, “If you have a complex life, make it simple; if you have a simple life, continue it that way!” 

If you’re a small business owner, the concept of a simple life might be long gone—the pursuit of your passion can take up all the hours in the day. This is why finding small ways to declutter your life is crucial to finding balance.

Bundling your insurance might be a small way to organize your life and finances.

Insurance Security 

If you make any claims on one type of insurance but are covered by the same company for another type, you are less likely to be dropped by them.

Cons of Bundling Insurance

Not Always Cheaper

While one of the main draws towards bundling insurance is saving money, there are cases where this isn’t the case. However, this all depends on your history. If you have a poor credit score or traffic violations, this might hinder your chances of getting a higher discount for bundling (likely in the 5% range compared to 20%). 

You’re Stuck

If you choose to bundle your insurance through the same company, there isn’t a ton of room to look for other rates. If you’re bundling your insurance through the same company, they might raise your rates without much room for discussion.

Keep in Mind

If you do feel like bundling your insurance, there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure you understand what you’re getting into (even though there are short and long-term benefits of bundling).

  • Evaluate all third-party options
  • Compare quotes
  • Keep an open mind 

Contact us at Competitive Edge today for information on bundling insurance!

Four Types of Insurance Coverage for your Business

There are so many options for insurance that it can be overwhelming to know which research steps to take as a business. At Competitive Edge, we help you navigate what coverage best fits you and your business. 

Health and Wellness 

Niche beauty insurance solutions can miss areas of business insurance that might bridge gaps in the event of falls or other general liability claims. With health and wellness insurance, unique situations are bound to arise depending on your business’s current environment and changes. 

The various Health and Wellness sectors that Competitive Edge caters to include: 

  • Beauty 
  • Spa Owners
  • Hair Salon Owners
  • Nail Salon Owners
  • Fitness
  • Yoga Studio Owners
  • Pilates Studio Owners
  • Dance, BarreFit, and Additional Exercise Studio Owners
  • Martial Arts Studio Owners
  • Health
  • Naturopathy Practices
  • Audiologists
  • Speech and Occupational Therapy Centers
  • Alternative Therapy Centers
  • Acupuncturists

To provide you with the right coverage from the right carrier, we need to know about your business. It’s not enough to put all cosmetology companies in one box, all spas in another, and all beauty product companies in yet another pre-planned box.

Cyber Liability

Cyber liability is a growing industry because of the evident rise in technology, and the hacking that comes with progress.

Does this sound like news to you? Don’t worry—we already wrote an article here for you to read about reducing cybersecurity risk. 

It’s important to understand what might be covered under your cyber insurance policy. 

  • Data Breaches
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • System Failure
  • Damages to a Third-Party System
  • Cyber Extortion
  • Business Interruption

Traditional business liability insurance likely won’t cover any cyver risks associated with your business. 

Bonding

Surety bonds offer an important secondary level of coverage. 

A surety bond is a contract involving three parties. It is a promise to be liable for the debt, default, or failure of another.  These three parties include:

  • The Principal: The party that purchases the bond and undertakes the obligation to perform the act as promised.
  • The Surety: An insurance company that guarantees the obligation to be performed. If the principal fails to perform the act as promised, the surety has a contractual obligation for the losses.
  • The Obligee: The party who requires and receives the benefit of the surety bond.

There are two categories of surety bonds: contract surety bonds and commercial surety bonds.

Contract surety bonds are typically written for construction projects. If a contractor defaults, the surety company is obligated to find another contractor to complete the contract. Another option for the surety company is to compensate the project owner for the financial loss incurred. There are a few bond types of contract surety bonds.

Contract sureties are required during a federal construction contract valued at $150,000 or more. State and municipal governments have similar regulations. Note that contract sureties may also be used with a private owner.

Commercial surety bonds, on the other hand, cover a broader range of surety bonds. These are required of individuals and businesses by federal, state, and local governments.

These bonds can be required by the government to obtain a license. For example, mortgage brokers, contractors, and auto dealers may be required to obtain a license or permit bond. These bonds can also be required to protect various statutes, regulations, ordinances, and other government entities.

General Business Insurance

General business insurance covers areas such as property damage, bodily injury, product liability, libel, slander, and copyright infringement.

Hindsight is no place for general business insurance conversations as lawsuits are a sad reality for many businesses. Just one bodily injury or property damage claim can take away everything you’ve worked so hard to build. General liability insurance provides businesses with coverage for most damages, injuries, medical costs, legal fees, and settlements in the case that you’re being sued.

Construction Insurance

Shock losses from large claims can make it difficult to get affordable insurance in the high-risk field of construction. If your insurance was canceled or non-renewed, we can help. 

Our depth of experience and exemplary reputation with the carriers we work with can find a home for your hard-to-place and high-risk clients can find the right coverage. The fact is, every business can find coverage, you just have to take the time and know where to look. 

The businesses we work with include: 

  • Roofing
  • Construction
  • Commercial Property
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • General Liability (CGL)

Errors and Omissions Insurance

In the CRE industry, agents are at higher risk of being accused of failing to meet a client’s expectations, failing to document decisions or actions, or failing to act in a customer’s best interest. This could be an error on a title or an oversight in a property listing, which could lead to a costly lawsuit. 

Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance covers against financial losses from lawsuits filed as a result of an agent’s work in the real estate profession. These policies cover liability related to the following issues:

The client may claim that you made an error that led to financial loss. In a lawsuit regarding professional mistakes, you may be at risk of losing big, considering the size of commercial property transactions.

An example of this is when a real estate agent misstates the square footage of a property. If the agent has Errors and Omissions Insurance, however, they may be covered for attorney’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments, and fines. 

Potential E&O Exclusions

While it’s important to know what E&O insurance covers, it’s also important to understand potential exclusions. Some common exclusions in E&O coverage include claims resulting from dishonest or criminal acts. As well as claims associated with a polluted property. If any agent causes bodily harm or death to another person, or the agent causes damage to someone’s property, their claims will not be covered under E&O insurance. 

In the CRE industry, it’s more common to face a lawsuit related to errors and omissions so it’s best to be covered before you need it. Roger J. Stewart is an expert in providing coverage for real estate professionals and has helped various CRE investors and agents avoid risk and save money throughout the years.

At Competitive Edge Insurance, we work with insurance carriers across the country to place all types of business coverage. We are always seeking out new insurance companies to write hard-to-place and high-risk business insurance. 

Don’t let cancellation dissuade you from finding comprehensive coverage, we can help! 

Contact us today at Competitive Edge to find out more information.

BEWARE: Workers’ Comp Insurance for Independent Contractors

As you may know, most states require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. These insurance policies can help recover most of your employee’s lost wages while they recover from a work-related injury or illness.

It also helps to cover your employee’s medical expenses as it provides their family with death benefits if they, unfortunately, pass away.

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance are policies that provide medical benefits and wage compensation to workers injured on the job, in exchange for eliminating their right to file a lawsuit against their employer’s negligence.

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help employees if they are unable to work, cover medical expenses, as well as other expenses and rehabilitation costs associated with disability or illness. As you look to explore workers’ compensation options, it’s important to look for one that provides adequate coverage and compensation for your employees.

When you invest in a properly designed policy, it ensures you and your employees remain financially secure. It’s also important to look at the specific benefits that are offered within your policy. Typical workers’ compensation insurance policies cover medical benefits.

What is Covered with Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Specific workers’ compensation laws vary depending on your state; however, the most common compensation states that require workplace injury insurance include the following:

  • Payment for lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Permanent disability
  • Temporary disability
  • Medical costs and treatment 

How to Prepare for Employee Claims

Accidents happen. It’s part of life. It doesn’t matter how safe your business is, there’s always the chance an employee will get sick or injured on the job. For this reason, nearly every state requires business owners to have coverage for their employees. Different states, however, have various regulations. 

Ensure you have an expert on your team to help understand what your specific business needs are. For example, if your business is in California, you are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance even if your business is as small as just one employee. In Florida, however, you need this coverage if you have at least four employees. 

Signing up for workers’ compensation depends on the location of your business. Typically, states recommend you purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a private insurance company, while others may require you to buy it through a state-run insurance fund.

It’s also important to understand the cost associated with investing in workers’ compensation insurance. The risk associated with your specific business will determine the cost of your insurance payments. This all sounds pricey, but remember: the costs associated with not having workers’ compensation insurance might be the motivation you need to start considering your options.

Without workers’ compensation insurance, you put yourself and your business at risk of fines, and could even face potential jail time for not complying with regulations. If an employee runs into a problem that would have been covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you may be responsible for covering their expenses, and you may also open yourself up to litigation.

What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation as an Independent Contractor

Every contractor needs general liability insurance. While the law does not require it, it is considered best practice to ensure against the kinds of injuries and lawsuits general liability is targeted to.

Large contractors may own commercial buildings that require property insurance, where smaller contractors or those with a specialty may need different coverage. 

At Competitive Edge, we don’t claim to know your needs until we talk to you. What’s right for one company may not be a choice that meets your needs. Even if you have suffered a shock loss, large claim, or lawsuit, and find that your options have narrowed, we can work with you.

The first step is to show us under the hood so we can help you find the right carrier and coverage to protect your business today and always. Contact Competitive Edge Insurance today for more information about high-risk coverage today!

Unique Risks of Cannabis Insurance

The emerging cannabis market has created a new space for industry coverage. There are unique risks that come with cannabis insurance that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re wondering the difference between cannabis and hemp insurance, read our article explaining the differences here. But for now, let’s talk about the unique risks of cannabis insurance.

General Risks

Cannabis and CBD products require a custom product liability policy for their manufacturers, retailers, distributors, cultivation, facilities, and more. This coverage applies to any business working to bring a product to market. These custom product liability policies help to defend your company against claims and allegations and to pay damages if your business is found liable if an incident were to occur.

These claims can vary, but some of the most common in the cannabis industry include:

  • Bodily injury or property damage caused by a product misuse
  • Product-related/manufacturing defects that result in some kind of loss
  • Inhaled, edible, and infused products that may have caused illness
  • Faulty/misused equipment (which includes vape cartridges, batteries, and lighters)
  • Marketing/labeling misrepresentations

For these reasons, product liability insurance is essential to your cannabis coverage. Similarly, you may want to consider product recall insurance that would cover the costs of removing a defective product from the market, and further preventing third-party claims. 

Unique Risks

The National Association of Insurance (NAIC) acknowledges that companies might need to reevaluate their coverage when considering cannabis and hemp. With the rising popularity of different forms of cannabis (think edibles), there are mental effects that need to be accounted for with insurance risk.

NAIC claims that products like edibles, “increase the risk of product liability and safety recalls. The psychoactive effects of CBD raise the risk that products may be deemed mislabeled, misrepresented or harmful.”

Young people have shown more interest in illicit drug use in recent years, which could change the insurance services and risks available.

Some other unique risks associated with cannabis coverage to consider: 

  • Cannabis businesses are complex
  • The market is constantly changing
  • Policies are not on the same playing field
  • Vaping products are muddling the market

Carriers have their own best interests at heart and only cover the safest bets to protect themselves. At Competitive Edge Insurance, we build your case with the carrier to ensure that you get the right coverage at the best price based on your real-world conditions. Learn more at our website today! 

Your Guide Reducing Cybersecurity Risk:

Cyber threats were at an all-time high during 2020. As a large portion of the population transitioned to a work-from-home environment, cyber attackers viewed this new reality as a wonderful opportunity to prey on cyber vulnerabilities. 

According to SonicWall, in 2020, 304.6 million ransomware attacks occurred. As well as 81.9 million crypto hacking attacks, 4.8 trillion intrusion attempts, and 5.6 billion malware attacks. With these statistics in mind, it’s important to start working toward mitigating your cyber risk today. 

Let’s start by understanding what a cybersecurity threat is. 

Cybercriminals target individuals and businesses alike. Cyber hacking ranges in damages– it can be as small as a pesky popup, or as large as malware that destroys your entire organization’s system. Understanding where your business may be at risk is just the beginning. 

As you likely know, data is one of your greatest assets as a business and is becoming increasingly important. Protect your digital assets, and ensure you have the protection needed to ensure the safety of your business and your client’s information. 

Preparing for a cyber attack.

Before an attack

First and foremost, you should put the proper controls in place. These controls may include:

  • Using secure Password-protected networks
  • Avoiding suspicious links
  • Ignoring online requests for private information
  • Password-protecting all devices that connect to the internet
  • Adding variation to your passwords
  • Reporting suspicious activity right when you see it.

You should also ensure your train and inform your employees of the proper protocol to begin mitigating your cyber risk. Employees need to be trained on how to avoid:

  • Email threats: Email is one of the most common ways for hackers to get sensitive information from your employees. Your employees should always verify the sender, never open suspicious attachments, and never click on links if you don’t trust the source. 
  • Spam threats: Ensure your employees know to use their spam filter, flag spam when it appears in your inbox, and know to only give their email to trusted sources.
  • Phishing threats: Employees should know to never offer sensitive information, be aware of potential suspicious links, double-check website addresses, verify who they’re communicating with, and trust their suspicions. 
  • Social Media threats: Employees should be sure to manage their privacy settings on social media, never click on suspicious links that have been shared with them, and think twice before posting and ensure they aren’t sharing information that may be harmful. 

During a cyberattack

In the case that a cyberattack occurs, you need to understand the steps you should take. First and foremost, you must take immediate action. If a problem is found, disconnect your device from the internet and restore your system fully. Lastly, report the incident to your IT Department as soon as possible! 

After a cyberattack occurs

Once you’ve taken the steps listed above, three are a few follow-up steps you should take. 

  • File a report with the local police: Ensure there is a record of the incident.
  • Report to the internet crime-compliant center: Report any identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Consider other information: If your personal information was compromised, what else could be at risk? 

Cyber Insurance for Cybersecurity Threats

As you start to consider the potential cyber risks associated with your business, consider investing in Cyber Insurance. It’s important to understand what would be covered under your cyber insurance policy. 

  • Data Breaches
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • System Failure
  • Damages to a Third-Party System
  • Cyber Extortion
  • Business Interruption

Traditional business liability insurance likely won’t cover the cybersecurity risks associated with your business. 

As cyber threats continue to proliferate, ensure your business remains protected.

How to Measure Your Company’s Cybersecurity Risk

With the increase of cyber attacks on the rise, companies every day worry they will become the next victim. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of cyberattacks has nearly doubled since 2019 and quadrupled since 2016 — with a cyberattack incident occurring every 11 seconds in 2021. 

At Competitive Edge, we believe all businesses are vulnerable to cybercrimes, not only large tech corporations. Global cybercrime losses are estimated at $400 billion per year. But not to fret — there are preventative measures your company can take, starting with learning how to measure your company’s cybersecurity risk.

Be Weary of Third-Party Risk

According to a recent study, 59% of companies experience a breach because of a vendor or third party. Although most companies have a variety of security regulations in place, many still fall susceptible to third-party or vendor risk.

The biggest challenge considering third-party risk is gaining real-time data. For example, most companies evaluate third-party risk through an assortment of questionnaires, assessments, or tests. This assortment of data gathering makes it difficult to see beyond just the snippet of information provided, and beyond into the ever-changing terrain of cybersecurity risk.

We recommended evaluating and refreshing what cybersecurity metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) your company is currently tracking. There are many tools that can help  evaluate third parties’ risk prior to onboarding—but the diligence shouldn’t stop there. Continue to monitor your third parties and vendors even after they’ve onboarded to ensure they are upholding best safety practices. 

Don’t let third-party risk slip through the cracks!

Define your Company’s Strategy for Measuring and Communicating Risk

Data, data, and more data! When it comes to analyzing cybersecurity risk, it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts. Risk-based reporting, however, is your best bet. Risk-based reporting, “as opposed to comprehensive, compliance-based, or incident-based reporting… is the approach best suited to reducing your organization’s exposure to cyber threats,” according to BitSight.

Risk-based reporting focuses on the big picture—not the small blips—and forces you to use context to deliver reports, delving into data concerning:

  • “Past performance
  • Risk concentration
  • Industry benchmarks
  • Financial quantification
  • Cybersecurity frameworks”

Furthermore, the phrase, “stay in your own lane,” does not apply to companies when measuring cybersecurity risk! In fact, we recommend you look to your competitors to gain further context on your own stance in terms of cybersecurity risk. By measuring your own risk in comparison to similar companies or competitors, you might take more pointed action about where your team’s focus is needed to stay safe.

Make Your Data Digestible

Now, you’ve done all the work, but how can you make it clear and easy to understand? Security ratings are the most widely used and understood language when delving into cybersecurity risk. Ensure that all company team members understand the data and what efforts will be made as a result to combat the risk and why.

Measures You Can Take to Stay Secure

The consequences of poor cybersecurity are catastrophic. Geospatial World says, “The best cybersecurity strategies are ones that are proactive in nature. Being able to respond to and recover from an instance of hacking is important, but stopping the incident before it even starts is what saves your organization more time, money, and pain in the long run.” To avoid these consequences, Competitive Edge recommends you:

  • Keep a tight rein on who has access to company information
  • Conduct employee background checks
  • Create individual accounts for employees
  • Of course, not only to have strict cybersecurity policies, procedures, and practices but to enforce them

Cybersecurity is the type of threat you don’t want to put off dealing with until it’s too late. That’s where we come in! Talk to our experts at Competitive Edge today to measure your company’s cybersecurity risk and see how you can obtain proper coverage. 

Don’t risk it.

Cyber Liability Coverage for the New Era of Ransomware

With cybercrimes on the rise, it’s time to look not only at your practices but also your cyber liability coverage.